The Cubs made it official earlier this week and signed free agent outfielder Jason Heyward to an eight-year, $184 million deal. Heyward signed the largest contract in franchise history passing Jon Lester (six years, $155 million) and Alfonso Soriano (seven years, $136 million).
With Heyward’s contract containing two options, what is currently an eight-year commitment could become either a three- or four-year contract.
“As everyone may have seen from the numbers that came out, I didn’t take the highest offer,” Heyward said in Tuesday’s press conference. “But for me, a winning attitude and culture and the fact that this was such a young group that I could grow myself with and be 26 years old. I would rather grow up with a bunch of guys and make them family. Chicago really offers me an opportunity to come in, get introduced to the culture by a young group of guys. I’ll grow up with them and watch them grow and have some fun with some familiar faces for a long time.”
Each of the four free agents the front office signed this off-season took less guaranteed money to play for the Cubs. John Lackey (two years, $32 million), Trevor Cahill (one-year, $4.25 million), Ben Zobrist (four years, $56 million) and Jason Heyward (eight years, $184 million) left money on the table from other clubs.
Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey each received no-trade clauses and/or no-trade protection in their contracts. The Cubs now have four players with no-trade protection on the 40-man roster. Jon Lester received a no-trade clause in his contract.
According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs could spend around $155 million, including arbitration eligible players, on the 2016 team which would be the largest payroll in franchise history. And that number could change, either increase or decrease, before Opening Day due to changes the front office could make to the roster. Levine reported the Cubs spent $145 million to field the 2010 team.
Jason Heyward agreed to terms on an eight-year, $184 million contract that includes a $20 million signing bonus. With the signing bonus being deferred, the current value of Heyward’s contract is $179,885,463.
Heyward’s contract includes two options. Heyward can void the final five years of the contract after the third year following the 2018 season. The second option vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances during the 2019 season, or fourth year of the contract.
Heyward received a full no-trade clause for the first three years (2016-18) and limited no-trade protection for years four and five of the contract (2019-20). After the 2020 season if Heyward is still with the Cubs he would have 10-and-5 rights (full no-trade protection) which would give him the right to veto a trade.
Heyward’s Salary per Season
- 2016 – $15 million
- 2017 – $21.5 million
- 2018 – $21.5 million
- 2019 – $20 million
- 2020 – $21 million
- 2021 – $21 million
- 2022 – $22 million
- 2023 – $22 million
Heyward will be paid $15 million in 2016, $21.5 million in 2017-18, $20 million in 2019, $21 million in 2020-21 and $22 million in 2022-23. Heyward can void the remaining five years after the 2018 season and the second option, in which he can void the contract, vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances during the 2019 season. If Heyward voids the remaining years of the contract after either the 2018 or 2019 season, the signing bonus is no longer deferred and must be paid.
If Jason Heyward opts out of his contract following the 2018 season, the Cubs will have paid him $78 million for three years ($26 million AAV). If Heyward is with the Cubs through the 2019 season, he will make $98 million ($24.5 million AAV) over four years.
If Heyward does not opt-out of his contract after the third or fourth year, he does not have another way to void the contract and will likely be with the Cubs through the 2023 season.
With Jason Heyward officially signing, the Cubs forfeited its second round pick in June’s Draft. The Cardinals received a compensation pick for Heyward deciding to leave St. Louis for Chicago.
By signing John Lackey and Jason Heyward, the Cubs have surrendered its first two picks in the draft, which is currently the first round pick (26th overall) and the second round pick. The Cubs did not lose a draft pick for Ben Zobrist. The Royals could not make him a qualifying offer at the end of the year because of the in-season trade from Oakland to Kansas City. The Cubs will not have a selection until the third round of the draft as it currently stands.
If/When Dexter Fowler signs with another team, the Cubs will receive a compensation pick for Fowler. The Cubs would then forfeit the compensation pick they receive for Fowler. The compensation pick is not protected. The Cubs first pick in June’s draft would be in the second round.